Situated at the base of the Arunachala Hill, in the town of Tiruvannamalai, 195 km from Chennai,the Annamalaiyar Temple is one of the largest temples of the South. Dating back to the Cholas ( 9th Century AD), this temple complex spread over 10 hectares is dedicated to Lord Arunachaleswara, a form of Shiva, and Unnamalai Amman, Parvati.
This is one of the five principal Shiva temples of the South dedicated to the five elements(known as Panchbhootasthalams);here,the element is Fire. The Arunachala Hill itself is taken as a form of Shiva in legend ,and worshipped. During the festival of Karthigai Deepam,in November ,a giant cauldron with thousands of litres of camphor and ghee is placed on the summit of the hill, and lit. The fire is visible from the entire countryside for scores of miles around.
It is this same temple that saw the flowering of the young Venkatramana Iyer into Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi,one of the most prominent spiritual figures of India.More about him at:
More information about Annamalaiyar Temple can be had at:
These pictures of the temple were taken from the Arunachala Hill using my Sony DSLR and 300mm Telephoto lens. The eight gopurams (towers) of the temple can be very clearly seen.Some of the smaller shrines inside the temple are also seen.
The main Gopuram( Raja Gopuram) is all of 13 stories in height !!
Om Arunachala !